- Started in Chicago in 1905. Paul Harris a lawyer had an idea which would get business people to talk with each other. They met in each other's business premises. This led to the name Rotary and its symbol the wheel.
- From a networking club it became focussed on Humanitarian issues. Clubs grew Globally.
- The Foundation is the largest charity pot in the world. Rotary boasts 1.2 Million Members and 35,000 clubs.
- Rotary began as an all-male business group but it was 1905!!! Now open to all and encouraging diversity.
- The Rotary Motto is Service above Self
- Consett is one of 56 clubs in District 130. Our district stretches from Berwick to North Yorkshire. Districts are organised into regions our Region will be UK and Republic of Ireland. Consett Club was established in 1942.
- Rotary is supported by paid staff around the World. The activities are carried out by volunteer members.
- Consett has around 30 members. We are exploring different ways to attract new ones.
- Against a background of ingrained traditions Rotary is well on the way to modernise to suit the current environment.
- There are different ways to set up clubs. As satellites, e clubs and other innovative structures. All bound by the desire to help the community.
- Rotary is committed to growing clubs through Rotary supported organisations such as Rotakids (our club supports two Rotakids) in Primary schools, Interact secondary schools and Rotaract for 18+. There is much work in these areas helping children and young people to make decisions, develop leadership and to make a difference in their communities. They are bound by Rotary principles and ethics.
- In 1979 Rotary began immunising 6 million children in the Philippines against Polio. It expanded globally and now there are only 2 War torn countries with polio as endemic. Rotary have funded and given 2.5 billion vaccines. Bill Gates is now match funding Rotary Foundation monies so that these 2 countries can also be free of polio.
- Arch C Klump who was the 6th President of Rotary set up the Rotary Foundation to ensure that the Global projects like Polio will continue to be funded.
- Rotary has 7 areas of focus and all projects must address at least one of these:
- Peace Building and Conflict prevention
- Disease, prevention and treatment
- Maternal and child health
- Basic education and literacy
- Community and Economic development
- Supporting the Environment
- Mercy Ships. Providing hospital and operating facilities mainly in Africa
- Hospital Trains Providing treatment for such things as river blindness and cataract treatment
- Shelter boxes for use in disaster areas of areas of conflict where people are displaced.
Some Projects Consett Rotary have led
- Crocus for Polio. Part of purple for polio campaign. Clubs buy crocus bulbs and plant in the community to support Polio Plus. See loads in Shotley Bridge!!
- Christmas 2020 Rotary Consett organised and provided every child in a refuge to escape domestic violence in our District with a Toy Box worth £80.
- Supporting food banks both as volunteers and with cash.
- Currently delivering Connecting Youth through the Outdoors. A mental health project involving therapists and wilderness education experts to try to avoid suicides. Working with the local academy.
- Currently also delivering Covid related mental health project for families with Young people with complex Special Needs. Involving storytelling and music. In partnership with Learning for Life.
- Each year Rotary UK gives a day out to 35000 children from challenging social and economic backgrounds. In Consett we have partnered with Beamish but COVID has affected this year.
- Young Carers project in partnership with Derwentside College. This involved helping Young Carers to cook nutritious and easy meals.
- Each year Consett Club sponsor Young People 18+ to complete a leadership course involving a series of challenges. Physical and cognitive.
- Members of our club are involved in technology challenges including Greenpower an electric car competition. There are many other Youth competitions.
- In order to support the Peace area of focus Consett Rotary are to become to Hub for a Peace Advocacy programme that empowers young people to resolve conflict in their lives, schools and communities. This is very powerful and supports children to make a difference to their lives and challenge bullying.
- Rotary Consett are also proud to support and lead a project to bring clean water to a school and clinic in Tanzania. This will involve drilling a Borehole.
Change and development
Rotary is aware (although it may not have reached every part) that it has to modernise and move into the 21st Century. My view is that it would be an absolute tragedy to lose the network and experience of such an organisation. This is also the view of the leaders of Rotary especially in the UK.
Consett Rotary is proud to be a member of the 'Do Business' Network as we seek to learn from our modern business colleagues how to maximise our charity effectiveness. Marketing our success and using digital methods to get the message across and to provide a professional profile is not our strength we have already learned a lot from being members.
We know that the 'Do Business' Network is a modern positive organisation which is an integral part of our community. Rotary Consett has similar ambition.
Estelle Spring, The Rotary Club of Consett